"The Arctic is at a strategic inflection point as its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected and human activity, driven by economic opportunity--ranging from oil, gas, and mineral exploration to fishing, shipping, and tourism--is increasing in response to the growing accessibility. Arctic and non-Arctic nations are establishing their strategies and positions on the future of the Arctic in a variety of international forums. Taken together, these changes present a compelling opportunity for the Department of Defense (DoD) to work collaboratively with allies and partners to promote a balanced approach to improving human and environmental security in the region in accordance with the 2013 'National Strategy for the Arctic Region'. Security in the Arctic encompasses a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from resource extraction and trade to activities supporting safe commercial and scientific operations to national defense. Security cooperation activities and other military-to-military forms of engagement establish, shape, and maintain international relations and the partnerships necessary to meet security challenges and reduce the potential for friction. The Department will continue to build cooperative strategic partnerships that promote innovative, affordable security solutions, and burden-sharing in the Arctic, and seek to increase opportunities with Arctic partners to enhance regional expertise and cold-weather operational experience. The Department will continue to train and operate routinely in the region as it monitors the changing environment, revisiting assessments and taking appropriate action as conditions change. This strategy identifies the Department's desired end-state for the Arctic: a secure and stable region where U.S. national interests are safeguarded, the U.S. homeland is protected, and nations work cooperatively to address challenges. It also articulates two main supporting objectives: 'Ensure security, support safety, and promote defense cooperation, and prepare to respond to a wide range of challenges and contingencies'--operating in conjunction with other nations when possible, and independently if necessary--in order to maintain stability in the region. Finally, it identifies the 'ways' and 'means' the Department intends to use to achieve these objectives as it implements the 'National Strategy for the Arctic Region'."
U.S. Department of Defense: http://www.defense.gov/